Chicken or the eggPublished 6:49pm Tuesday, July 31, 2012
America loves chicken.
There’s no other reasonable conclusion upon seeing the figures for poultry and egg consumption in the United States.
U.S. diners ate 56 pounds of chicken apiece in 2009, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. And that number is actually down by nearly five pounds from 2006, before the economy caused many families to begin cutting back on their restaurant visits.
Perhaps even more incredibly, Americans ate more than 246 eggs apiece in 2010, according to the American Egg Board.
And poultry doesn’t just give Americans food for their tables — it also puts food on the table for about 300,000 people who are employed in chicken processing plants around the nation and another 60,000 in feed mills, hatcheries, distribution centers and other locations.
Chicken, in fact, is so ubiquitous that it’s the standard by which exotic meats are often judged. “Tastes like chicken” might not exactly be a hearty endorsement, but it is universally understood to be a sign that a new gastronomic experience is at least palatable.
What’s ironic, though, is chicken can be cooked so many different ways — and therefore made to taste like so many different things — that “tastes like chicken” kind of loses its meaning in the end.
Baked chicken? Healthy and juicy. Boiled? Great for soups and salads. Filleted and flayed on the grill? That’s summer right there. Chipped and mixed with mayo and mustard? Grab some bread and make yourself a sandwich. Fried? This is the South, isn’t it?
You might not solve the riddle of which came first, but you can hardly go wrong with the chicken and egg recipes that follow.
Chicken Salad Verde
- 2 whole rotisserie chickens, meat cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 7 cups)
- 10 large red lettuce leaves
- 1 cup loosely packed parsley
- 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp capers, drained
- 1 small sour pickle
- 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1. Place chicken pieces in large bowl and set aside.
2. In food processor or blender, make dressing by combining parsley, basil, garlic, capers, pickle, celery, olive oil and vinegar. Puree until very smooth. (If dressing becomes too thick, add one tablespoon water.) Add salt and lemon juice.
3. Spoon dressing over chicken and toss gently to coat. Arrange lettuce leaves on large platter; mound salad in the middle.
4. Garnish with tomato slices or roasted red pepper slices, if desired.
Mexican Egg Tortilla
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup turkey ham, cubed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp. parsley
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- A pinch of salt
1. In a bowl mix the eggs, onion, parsley, ham and salt.
2. Place the mixture in a heated pan. When it becomes solid, flip and let sit for 2 more minutes or until the outside edges are golden.
— Recipes courtesy of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council